Pennsylvania hospitals, nursing homes and ambulatory surgery centers must expand infection-control prevention and surveillance under a new law that offers financial incentives starting in 2009 to healthcare facilities that curb infection rates.
Under the law signed by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, providers must draft prevention and control plans for infections acquired in hospitals, nursing homes or surgery centers, and file plans with state health officials.
Hospitals, which already report such infections to the state, must now report data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And by Dec. 31, each hospital must evaluate the cost and logistics of adopting an electronic infection-surveillance system and adopt such a system no later than Dec. 31, 2008. The law includes provisions for hospitals unable to meet the 2008 deadline. -- by Melanie Evans